3/25/11

Ride Home 3/25

I thought that it was supposed to be 50. It wasn't 50. I didn't wear gloves. My hands were cold. Boo.
There's nothing quite as unlucky as getting stuck at successive stop lights on your big downhill ride away from work. It's just not as fun as getting through the lights.
I guess that four-way intersections are confusing, but they're not that confusing. We all take turns, right? There are two kinds of motorists at four-way stops with a cyclist: the overly deferent, who instead of taking their proper turn, decline and prompt the cyclist through. This confuses the motorist opposite them, who either cuts off the cyclist, who thinks he's being waved ahead, or aborts their initial movement forward in a lurching and probably uncomfortable to them manner. I appreciate the consideration, but sometimes it's just better to play by the rules. The other kind of motorist is the "I've got internal combustion, so I was obviously here first." Just because you have the power of hydrocarbons doesn't mean that I didn't get to the stop sign before you. You gotta yield, dude.
On my ride in Arlington, I decided to take what the lights gave me (like a good quarterback would do an NFL defense, maybe?). Instead of following my usual route, taking Nash to Wilson, when denied a left turn by a green light, I just kept going up the Custis. Some guy was wheeling his bike out from behind the Marriott. Secret path? At Veitch, again my left turn was blocked, so I kept going along Lee Highway. I wish there was a bike lane on the right side of Lee Highway from, let's say, where the bike lane stops before Sprout Run to at least Quincy. I guess the road gets a little narrow by the Cherrydale Safeway (so narrow, I bailed to the sidewalk even), but it'd be nice to have one if it's possible. I'm guessing it was deemed not possible, since there's one on the downhill side of the road. It's not a route that I take a lot, but ceteris paribus, I recommend for bike commuters to always consider taking the path of least resistance. I'd rather be moving forward on a bike than wait at a light.
I rode down Quincy, which was fun because I was moving essentially at the speed of car traffic. It felt pretty badass. They cleaned the street, and by street I mean bike lane, of the horrible little sandy dirt bits in front of Washington & Lee High School.  At Quincy and Fairfax, there were cyclists traveling in each direction: up and down Fairfax and up and down Quincy. Saturation. Arlington is the Portland of the DMV.

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